Following on from the recent articles on what Team Yankee V2 could look like given the information provided by Battlefront at the Open Day, Mark G and Richard have had a game using the FOAN rulebook as its basis.
We decided to use the FOAN rulebook with the following differences. Guided weapons do not lose their concealed status after firing (ATGWs had a much bigger signature with early tech), and OPs maintain the Team Yankee +1 to range in.
Stance – attack
Full Inf with Milans
Full Inf with Milans
3 x Still Brew Chieftain
4 x Scimitar
4 x Spartan Milan
4 x Milan
4 x Rapier
3 x Still Brew Chieftain
Richards’s East Germans.
HQ x1 T72M
3 x T72M
3 x T72M
4 x T72M
4 x BRDM
HQ with BMP1
Short Platoon with BMP-1s
Short Platoon with BMP-2s and Gremlin
4 x Shilka
3 x Spandrel
4 x BRDM
3 x Spandrel
6 x Hail
4 x hind
The mission rolled off using the stances and more missions and we got breakthrough with the Brits defending.
The new 40% reserves made things a bit different with 6 x Chieftains in reserve normally it would have been 4 platoons. The Milans and Spartans took up position on the hill covered by the Rapier hiding behind it. A platoon of Infantry was kept in ambush to harass the enemy advance with LAWs into their flanks and hopefully an assault. The other inf deployed centrally ready to go for the obj or into the town to cut off the advance. The Scorpions took cover around the crops.
Richard kept a platoon of BRDMs in reserve and 4 x T72s to come on next to my objectives.
The Germans advance on mass with the infantry doing a hook around while the T72s advanced towards the town. 1 failed a cross check but in V4 it’s not bogged, he just stopped ready to shoot. The Hails had ranged in on the town and now re-ranged in on the Milans on the second attempt but failing to kill anything. The T72s blew apart 2 LAW stands.
The British Infantry headed for the large building in the centre of the town to cover the bottleneck and avoid MG fire. A Carl Gustav knocked out T72 and the Scorpions moved up the edge of the crops and with the Milans who stood still bagging another. The Spartans and Milan teams both bagged a T72. A great start with that formation gutted in turn 1! The Scorpions got a Shilka which had moved onto the hill. Luckily the first Platoon of Chieftains arrived and came into the corner to threaten the advancing BMPs ensuring their side armour couldn’t be hit by aligning with the corner. They killed 2 x BMP2s also getting an AK and RPG team in the explosion.
T72 advance stopped.
The Hinds come in and take 2 casualties to the Rapier, they were so busy evading that they missed the Chieftains. The T72s dare not advance and the CiC hides to protect the formation morale. However, they do claim a Carl Gustav team. The repeat bombardment fails to kill anything, which was rather surprising. However, I refuse to sit under it for another turn and mount up and dash off towards the crop field to re-position my milans. My plan to ambush the infantry was rather thwarted by the number of vehicles stopping me getting close to the BMPs and causing havoc near the objective so I had to pop hull down on a hill. The platoon did kill 2 x BRDMs and bail the other 2 with the platoon’s milans engaging and missing the T72s but bailing the CiC (I was aiming for a formation break). The Spartans and Scorpions engage the BMP-2s killing 4 of them and the infantry taking light casualties. The Chieftains shoot the surviving BMP infantry claiming another team.
British infantry ambush.
On the objective and have no intention to leave!
Everything of Richard’s remounts and the BMPs don’t flee. The BMP-2 infantry dig in next to the objective. The spandrels Blitz and engage the Chieftains to no effect. The hails re-range in on the infantry that ambushed killing 3 stands. I refuse to sit and take that arty and move, engaging the spandrels with laws as I make for the building. My Chieftains take 2 x T72Ms and my second platoon move towards the objective. I start plugging away at the enemy infantry around the objective. The Milans manage to blitz out of the transport leaving most vehicles a wreck. Unfortunately, the BRDMs stubbornly hold on hiding behind the sign.
Richards reserves show up and his BRDMs kill off my Scorpions and they flee the board the next turn. His T72Ms take some infantry in the building and his Hails fail to range in.
Once again none of his units flees!
The British continue to whittle down the infantry and a T72M is bailed to the Chieftains. The BRDMs in the field are now down to Poor Spirits and the BMP-2s wiped out. The ambushed infantry move towards the centre through the factory.
2 x APCs engage the infantry in the open reducing them to bad spirits.
Again no one flees and everyone remounts. Curse those brave foolish communists. The BRDMs mow down the Milans then assault them leaving only 1 alive.
The T72s take cover in the wood but fail their cross checks and settle for killing the APCs avenging the infantry’s death. Hails fail to range in again.
The British unpin their platoon in the house after the assault and the single stand of Milan hold but remained pinned. Whats important here is that in V4 the commander doesn’t attach so can affect more than 1 platoon giving them a re-roll for morale. The BRDMs are reduced to Poor Spirits by Milan and the Chieftains reduce the remaining T72M platoon near the objective to Poor Spirits as well. Both formations are on the edge of breaking. The T72M formation needs to fail 1 of 2 checks in turn 6 and the infantry needs to fail 2. Unfortunately, there is nothing else I can do.
On the edge of fleeing the board.
Richard fails his tests with 1 infantry platoon but the rest hold. He has now started and ended his turn on an objective and under the new More Missions way of playing wins 6-3.
A bloody East German victory.
A very close game. My mistake was thinking I had more time. I should have moved my ambushing platoon up towards the crop field instead of wasting a turn hunting Spandrels. My Chieftains also should have headed to the centre faster.
V4/FOAN wise there were some effects. The fact that the formation commanders 6-inch bubble allows re-rolls for last stands and remount was helpful and then I was very afraid of the repeat bombardment. While I never lost a stand to the repeat it forced me to keep moving with my Milan and ambushing infantry. Had this been vanilla Team Yankee I would have shrugged the odds off.
Richard did roll a lot more Last Stand checks however his 3+ motivation saved the day repeatedly. Definitely more important now.
What I did find easier was remembering rules. I play a lot of V4 and it was nice not to have to remember the oddities of Team Yankee, which made things a lot quicker.
Finally, the 40% reserves really changed things. Had it been normal TY I would have had 3 fighting platoons and my Rapiers. Instead, I got 6 platoons on the table and my tanks rushing to the rescue. This really changes the dynamic and for me, it felt better.
So not being as much as a fan of v4 as Mark I was quite sceptical about the merging of the rules.
Clearly as Mark has indicated the CinC becomes much more powerful now that they no longer need to attach to give re-rolls, however I’m worried that the removal of the improved skill rolls it gives Warsaw Pact units for skill-based movement orders when the CinC attaches will impact on their already limited tactical flexibility, but given the increased number of Morale Tests people will now take, the “bubble” re-rolls will be important.
The worry of the “ranged in” re-roll kept Mark moving so whilst I never actually killed anything with the one bombardment I had which was ranged in, it did at least force one of Marks units to stay on the move, the issue is that the unit was only 4 of Marks 12 Milan launchers so I still took a lot of fire. Moreover once Mark killed my OP I was really struggling to range in even with the better skilled East Germans so the jury is still out for me on whether the v4 artillery rules will really solve the issue with British ATGW lists – personally making them a 5+ save as “gun teams” if they fire would balance things better, rather than changing around a lot of rules. One thing is clear the +1 for ranging in with OPs needs to be retained going forward, though obviously, it makes it a bit of an open season on OPs…..
Obviously, Mark found the rules flowed better for him, as someone who plays no v4 there was a steeper learning curve for me.
As you’ll have noticed I had a good night with the morale dice, and I think this luck meant that the issues I thought I would see with the increased number of morale rolls was masked, and allowed me to get a positive outcome, but I do remain concerned that formations are going to struggle to stay in the game once battle is joined, and given I’m building a French list I am now wondering whether this is worth completing given the small number of core units in French formations and a morale rating of reluctant.
I enjoyed the game, it’s always fun playing Mark, and we’ve agreed to have a couple more games later in the year using the same rules, but it would be fair to say that I still have some real concerns about the direction of travel in terms of whether it will fix the perceived issues with TY without making some Nations rather unattractive to play.